The curriculum that we provide at Rothbury First School takes account of the statutory primary National Curriculum subjects of English, mathematics, science, art and design, computing, design and technology, geography, history, languages (key stage 2 only), music, physical education and religious education.
The curriculum is capable of change in response to school based amendments, the introduction of Government legislation, and initiatives as appropriate. The curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum with personal, social and health education being a very important part.
We believe that literacy is central to children’s overall development and that success in reading, writing, speaking and listening are crucial in allowing children to achieve their full potential in other curriculum subjects and in all aspects of school life.
We aim to ensure that all children value books, appreciate the enjoyment of reading for its own sake, and become competent and critical readers.
We encourage all children to appreciate the importance of writing as a means of communication, to enjoy writing and to develop into confident and competent writers. We consider the presentation of written work to be important and we introduce a style of handwriting which can be joined as the children move through school.
Speaking and Listening
We believe the development in oracy is essential to all children’s learning. Phonics
We use the ReadWriteInc Phonics programme as our main method of teaching phonics and reading across school. Once children have completed the program, we are using the ReadWriteInc Language and Literacy programme to further develop their skills and knowledge in English.
Our school aims to ensure that all pupils have a sound grasp of basic mathematics that will enable them to apply their skills and knowledge, in a variety of situations. We also aim to foster a positive attitude towards mathematics in staff, pupils and parents, so that children can enjoy and become confident in their use of mathematics.
The children throughout the school are encouraged to tackle mathematics through a variety of ways including practical activities, games, investigations, problem solving, mental mathematics, computer based activities and through more formal written work.
Number, Shape and Space, Measures and Data Handling are taught throughout the year in line with the Curriculum 2014. We use Abacus and Hamilton Trust as planning tools, and also draw on a range of other resources, such as Numicon, to give the children a broad mathematics curriculum.
Science is taught through a range of topics throughout the school. Children are given opportunities for practical exploration and experimenting, and are encouraged to ask and answer questions.
We provide opportunities for investigation both inside and outside so that children are given the opportunity to think and observe scientifically and so that they develop an understanding of their world.
ART AND DESIGN
The children have access to a balanced programme of art, craft and design activities using a range of materials, tools and techniques. They have opportunities to understand and appreciate art in a variety of forms and styles.
We teach children how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly. They are taught how to use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, retrieve and manipulate digital content. They are also taught the basics of programming.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
In our Design and Technology curriculum we encourage children to look at the world around them and consider products and objects that have been designed. The children are given opportunities to develop their own design and making skills using a range of materials. They are taught how to use a range of tools and equipment safely and hygienically and are asked to record and evaluate their ideas in a variety of ways.
By studying Geography we give opportunities for children to develop curiosity about the world, relate to places other than their own and develop a caring attitude towards the environment.
Through geography we aim to:
- Extend the child’s awareness of their immediate environment, their own country and of the world
- Develop the skills to compare places in terms of their human and physical geography
- Encourage the skills of observation, enquiring and decision making
- Develop simple fieldwork, mapping and observational skills
By studying the past we enable children to:
- Understand different ways of life, changing conditions and their effect upon people both locally and on a wider scale
- Develop an understanding of chronology
- Identify and assess evidence and use it to make informed judgements
- Develop investigational and research skills and to present information in appropriate terms
French is taught in key stage 2 with the focus on spoken language.
Our aim is to provide a sound foundation for musical literacy, to meet the needs of the individual child and develop the skills necessary to participate in musical activities. We want each child to become a competent listener, composer and performer.
In 2014 we introduced whole class music tuition to Year 3 under the First Access scheme. The children learn to play the pocket trumpet. In 2015 this has been extended to both Years 3 and 4. Music across school is also supported by the Charanga! scheme.
Extra curricular musical instrumental tuition is available in cooperation with the County Music Service and music specialists. Currently children are able to play violin, keyboard and guitar. Children are supported, if they wish, to take part in the Rothbury Traditional Music Festival.
The children are taught skills which will help them to develop physically and they are encouraged to use these skills in their social life outside the school. This gives the child the foundation for an active leisure life. Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 go swimming at the Rothbury Pool during the year. Children in years 1, 2, 3 and 4 benefit from tuition from the PE specialist teacher from Dr Thomlinson Middle School. They also have access to a number of sporting festivals within the local cluster of schools. From time to time, additional specialist teachers and coaches also work with the children to bring external expertise to the school.
The school currently offers two after school clubs in Taekwondo and football. The schools facilities are hired by local providers to offer further opportunities for ballet and jazz dance.
The school uses the Northumberland Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (RE) and Collective Worship. We aim to help children learn more about their own religious tradition and heritage, and to develop an awareness and understanding of other beliefs and religious practices in the world.
We hope that parents would not feel it necessary to withdraw children from RE, however if you have any concerns please contact the Headteacher to discuss them.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND HEALTH EDUCATION
The need to look after our body, the ways in which we can, and how our body works are studied through Science. Each class also studies a range of PSHE topics using materials such as Go-Givers and SEAL. We have also introduced Forest School across the school.
The school has achieved the Healthy School Award. A No Smoking Policy and a Travel Plan are operating. A visit from the Life Education Centre is arranged every two years.
Though no formal sex education is given, pupils questions are answered as they arise, always bearing in mind moral relationships, family life and respect for others.
The children are exposed to the ”arts” by visits to theatres and by theatre groups, musicians, artists, dancers, dramatists and writers visiting the school whenever possible. The children are encouraged to express themselves through art, dance, music, drama and literature at every opportunity.
Topic webs for each year group can be found under the Curriculum Topic Webs area of the website. As these are developed throughout this year, these will be shared with parents and the website will be updated.